San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Thousands of Ticos enjoy traditional Tope in San José

More than 5,000 riders participated Wednesday in the traditional year-end horse parade or Tope San José 2012.

The event started around noon at Plaza González Víquez (South San José) and ended in La Sabana Park (west of the capital), a journey held in reverse of how it was done traditionally.

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Horse rider Fabio Rojas, who has participated for 50 years in the Tope, said that “It has been very nice and well organized but it’s a little overcrowded, perhaps because of the route change.”

Thousands of people, from children to adults, gathered along the capital’s 2nd Avenue to observe the participants while enjoying food and drinks.

The Municipality of San José also restricted the consumption of liquor and cigarettes, since a new law approved this year prohibits smoking in public areas. Even so, some incidents were registered at the end of the Tope and some riders were taken into custody charged with causing a public disturbance.

The Tope course this year was reversed to prevent some of the riders participating without paying the inscription fee, as the streets near Plaza González Víquez enabled police officers to control riders who tried to sneak in without assigned registration numbers.

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